Percy Jackson is difficult to deal with from a parental perspective. Of course, one issue is that he is a teenager.  Another is the fact that he is a half blood thanks to being the son of the sea god, Poseidon.  Then, there is that whole blowing up the school issue which happens on a fairly regular basis.

The last is what he is pretty much known for but he doesn’t want to destroy schools. He doesn’t wake up and plan to destroy a school. It just happens. With Percy’s planned attendance at an orientation at Goode High School on East 81st in New York City as the novel opens, mother and son are both a bit worried.  There is extra pressure this time because mom’s boyfriend, Paul Blofis pulled strings from his position as English teacher to get Percy accepted to Goode High School where he will begin the ninth grade in the fall despite Percy’s history of being kicked out of every school he has ever attended. The plan is to attend the orientation, get out before anything happens, and go spend the summer at the Half Blood Camp. Everything would have been fine too except for one small problem.

Demonic cheerleaders.

The two cheerleaders wanted Percy dead in the worst way and didn’t care what happened to the mortals that got in their way or the building itself.  When all is said and done, Percy is on the run again headed for the Half Blood Camp. Not only will he have to clear his name yet again, but this time is going to have to go into the Labyrinth to delay Kronos who is building his army to take over the world and the modern day Mount Olympus.

This latest installment in the series is another action filled, often funny, read for both teenagers and adults.  Greek mythology is again brought to noisy life by author Rick Riordan who draws parallels and links between the ancient myths and the modern world. While telling a great story, he continues to frequently satire various matters involving politics and education. Parents in Texas especially will appreciate the hilarious section involving the sphinx, the revised policy on the riddle, and TAKS as well as the No Child Left Behind Act. It’s simply “exemplary” writing to be enjoyed and should be posted in every classroom across the state.

As he has done so well before, author Rick Riordan (who also authored the very good Tress Navarre mystery series) has penned another installment that while good in its own right is a small cog in the series arc detailing the coming epic battle with Kronos.  Character development is secondary as the characters have been well established by this point. Instead, the focus is action. Therefore, the ongoing issue of Percy’s prophecy is briefly touched on to remind readers with the main focus being the here and now as the battle of Labyrinth is a minor skirmish in the build up to the Great War. The war is coming and is should really be something. 

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Book 4—The Battle Of  The Labyrinth

Rick Riordan

Hyperion Books For Children


ISBN# 978-1-4231-0416-8


361 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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